Posted on: Thursday 23 January 2020
Today, (Thursday 23rd January), Torfaen Council welcomed the Welsh Government’s Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams AM, to officially open Croesyceiliog School.
The ceremony marked the final milestone in the construction of the new £30 million secondary school which opened in November 2019 and was jointly funded by the Welsh Government and Torfaen Council.
Kirsty Williams said: ‘The 21st Century Schools and Colleges programme is the biggest investment in schools and colleges since the 1960s. The Welsh Government have already invested £1.4 billion in band A of the programme and there is more to come, with investment rising to £2.3 billion across Wales by the end of band B. Torfaen have spent £93m so far and I thank the council for supporting this project and having the vision to deliver another school that pupils and staff can be truly proud of.’
Leader of Torfaen Council, Cllr Anthony Hunt said: ‘At £30 million, this is the biggest single investment we have made in Torfaen as part of our overall 21st Century Schools programme. It is also significant because it is the final project in Band A of our overall programme which ultimately will see nearly £300 million invested in our school estate.’
The new school buildings have been built on the existing school site and replaced buildings dating back to the 1950s.
The main school building is three storeys high with a double-height assembly hall, dining area, drama and learning resource centre. There is a separate two storey Sports Block accommodating a double height Sports Hall, Gym and Activity Studio which will be available to the local community outside of school hours.
A new flood lit all-weather pitch will be constructed on the site of the existing buildings once they have been demolished in the summer. The school covers a floor area of over 10,000 m2 and has been designed to achieve the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) ‘excellent’ rating for energy efficiency.
Executive Member for Education, Cllr David Yeowell, said: ‘ I would like to thank everyone involved in this project and must give special mention to the Head Teacher, his team and to the project team for their determination and perseverance throughout construction. It shows in the final product, and generations of learners will now benefit from all of that effort. I also expect the opportunities presented by the new surroundings will be fully developed – not least when the old buildings are demolished and replaced with the new hockey pitch. The school is an important facility for learners and the community alike in Croesyceiliog and we must not miss opportunities to realise the benefits of this significant investment in the area.’
The main contractor for the project was Kier Construction, who have successfully worked in partnership with Torfaen in recent years delivering projects at Nant Celyn Primary, Blaenavon Heritage VC Primary and Crownbridge School and carrying out extensive remodelling and extensions at Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw and Penygarn Community Primary.
Jason Taylor, operations director for Kier in Wales, states: ‘We would like to thank the Minister for Education for visiting Croesyceiliog School, a project we are extremely proud of. Working collaboratively with Torfaen Council, we are delighted to be providing state-of-the art, energy efficient facilities for over 1,000 pupils. ‘Throughout this project, we have engaged with the school and the local community. The school is now a focal point for the local community, and we hope its facilities will be enjoyed for years to come.’